Umberto Eco (1932. – 2016.) was an italian novelist, essayist, philosopher, linguist and university professor. He studied medieval philosophy and literature, and obtained his PhD in philosophy in 1956. with a thesis on Thomas Aquinas. He was a semiotics professor at the University of Bologna. He became widely famous after the publishing of his novel The name of the rose (Il nome della rosa, 1980.) in which he combines conventions and stereotypes with literary knowledge of medieval values. Eco also wrote scientific texts, essays and children's books. He was the founder of the Department of Media Studies at the University of the Republic of San Marino, member of the Accademia dei Lincei, and an honorary fellow of Kellog College, Oxford. Eco founded and developed one of the most important approaches in contemporary semiotics, usually referred to as interpretative semiotics. Since 1985, he was awarded with more than 30 honorary doctorates from universities all over the world. Thanks to his literary knowledge and his writer's skills, Eco became one of intelectual icons of the 20th century.
Some of his most significant works include novels Focault's Pendulum, (Il pendolo di Foucault, 1988.), The Prague cemetery (Il cimitero di Praga, 2010.), Numero Zero (Numero zero, 2015.) and dissertations The search fpra a perfect language in European culture (La ricerca della lingua perfetta nella cultura europea, 1993.), The history of beauty (Storia della bellezza, 2004.), The history of ugliness (Storia della bruttezza, 2007.)
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